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Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … thus completing the work he had started on the genus in 1862. His varied botanical observations and …
  • … act. In his ongoing quest to confirm the statement in his 1862 book on orchids that nature ‘abhors …
  • … Scott, a gardener at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, in 1862 with a letter regarding the …
  • … and Book of Joshua critically examined  (Colenso 1862–79). After reading extracts from Colenso’s …
  • … Correspondence vol. 10, letter to Asa Gray, 6 November [1862] ). A declaration that Erasmus …

Science: A Man’s World?

Summary

Discussion Questions|Letters Darwin's correspondence show that many nineteenth-century women participated in the world of science, be it as experimenters, observers, editors, critics, producers, or consumers. Despite this, much of the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 3715 - Claparède, J. L. R. A. E. to Darwin, [6 September 1862] Claparède acknowledges …

Insectivorous Plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Plants that consume insects Darwin began his work with insectivorous plants in the mid 1860s, though his findings would not be published until 1875. In his autobiography Darwin reflected on the delay that…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 3853 - Charles Darwin to John Scott, 11 December 1862 This is a lengthy letter …

3.4 William Darwin, photo 1

Summary

< Back to Introduction In the 1860s Darwin increasingly turned to two of his sons - first to William and later to Leonard - for the fashioning of his image. William, the eldest, apparently took up photography c.1857, when still in his teens, and…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … among Darwin’s friends and correspondents. In November 1862 Darwin wrote to an old Beagle shipmate, …
  • … by William went to the botanist Daniel Oliver in September 1862, to the botanist Alphonse de …
  • … Letters from Darwin to Daniel Oliver, [17 Sept. 1862], (DCP-LETT-3709), and to Philip Gidley King, …

3.3 Maull and Polyblank photo 2

Summary

< Back to Introduction Despite the difficulties that arose in relation to Maull and Polyblank’s first photograph of Darwin, another one was produced, this time showing him in three-quarter view. It was evidently not taken at the same session as the…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … view. It must have been available before April or May 1862, when Darwin’s brother Erasmus solicited …
  • … of Origin in late November 1859. In his letter of spring 1862, Darwin’s brother Erasmus sought …
  • … Letter from Erasmus Alvey Darwin to Darwin, [April-May? 1862], DCP-LETT-3745. Letter from Ernst …

Darwin in letters, 1863: Quarrels at home, honours abroad

Summary

At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of The variation of animals and plants under domestication, anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied botanical experiments…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … with Owen when it became clear that Owen’s November 1862 description of the recently discovered  …
  • … work on mimicry in butterflies, which had been published in 1862 (see  Correspondence  vol. 10). …
  • … to the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury in September 1862 ( see letter to Julius von Haast, 22 …
  • … men, given at the Museum of Practical Geology at the end of 1862, and published as a book in early …
  • … that had already occupied much of his time in 1861 and 1862. With the publication in 1862 of his …
  • … a question he had been struggling with in 1861 and 1862; he wanted to determine experimentally …
  • … Edinburgh, had initiated the correspondence in November 1862 with a letter correcting Darwin’s …
  • … ( see letter to Asa Gray, 23 February [1863] , and Loring 1862). However, his tolerance of Gray’s …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Letter 3800 — Scott, John to Darwin, C. R., [11 Nov 1862] Scottish gardener John Scott notes …
  • … Letter 3805 — Darwin, C. R. to Scott, John, 12 Nov [1862] Darwin thanks Scott for bringing …

Thomas Rivers

Summary

Rivers and Darwin exchanged around 30 letters, most in 1863 when Darwin was hard at work on the manuscript of Variation of plants and animals under domestication, the lengthy and detailed sequel to Origin of species. Rivers, an experienced plant breeder…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and fruit trees. Darwin initiated the correspondence in 1862 in a typically modest and apologetic …
  • … would think me too intrusive” ( 23 and 28 December [1862]). Darwin was always conscious of …

Edward Lumb

Summary

Edward Lumb was born in Yorkshire. According to the memoirs of his daughter Anne, Lady Macdonell, he travelled to Buenos Aires aged sixteen with his merchant uncle, Charles Poynton, and after some fortunate enterprises set up in business there. In 1833…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … business was import and export trade, but he was also in 1862 the first chairman of the Great …

Orchids

Summary

Why Orchids? Darwin  wrote in his Autobiography, ‘During the summer of 1839, and, I believe, during the previous summer, I was led to attend to the cross-fertilisation of flowers by the aid of insects, from having come to the conclusion in my…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … book’, as Darwin usually referred to it, appeared in May 1862 ( Orchids ). A letter to …
  • … than almost anything in my life. ’ By February 1862, Darwin was able to send the manuscript …
  • … details of structure. ’ Orchids was published in May 1862. ‘A new and unexpected track’ …
  • … that he presented himself to the Linnean Society on 3 April 1862, ‘On the three remarkable sexual …

Alfred Russel Wallace

Summary

Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … another extended voyage to Malaysia. Between 1854 and 1862, he travelled some 14,000 miles across …
  • … & publish at once.” Wallace returned to London in 1862. Lacking the social connections …

John Beddoe

Summary

In 1869, when gathering data on sexual selection in humans, Darwin exchanged a short series of letters with John Beddoe, a doctor in Bristol. He was looking for evidence that racial differences that appear to have no benefit in terms of survival - and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … In 1869 Darwin exchanged a short series of letters with a John Beddoe, a doctor in Bristol who had …

John Murray

Summary

Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and, when the files were full, the letters were burnt; from 1862 his father was persuaded to keep …
  • … but work progressed slowly ( Letter 3078 ); meanwhile in 1862 Murray published  On the various …

Discussion Questions and Essay Questions

Summary

There are a wide range of possibilities for opening discussion and essay writing on Darwin’s correspondence.  We have provided a set of sample discussion questions and essay questions, each of which focuses on a particular topic or correspondent in depth.…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … on experimental practice? [John Scott and sexual dimorphism (1862), Fritz Müller and climbing plants …
  • … Did Darwin believe in progress? [Lyell (1860, 1881), Hooker (1862), Lubbock (1865), Graham (1881)] …

'An Appeal' against animal cruelty

Summary

The four-page pamphlet transcribed below and entitled 'An Appeal', was composed jointly by Emma and Charles Darwin (see letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [29 September 1863]). The pamphlet, which protested against the cruelty of steel vermin…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … in the London daily newspaper the Morning Star in 1862 (see Animal World , 1 January 1870, p. …
  • … from Howitt"s letter to the Morning Star , 8 December 1862 (see Animal World , 1 January …

People featured in the German and Austrian photograph album

Summary

Biographical details of people from the Habsburg Empire that appeared in the album of German and Austrian scientists sent to Darwin on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Johannes Mattes for providing these details and for permission to make his…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … graduating from the Mining Academy in Banská Štiavnica (1862), he hold the position of a  …
  • … Theil. Wien: Kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei 1862. p. 275–277.   …
  • … Oberrealschule  in Bratislava (1850), and since 1862 director of the Imperial Institute for the …

Cross and self fertilisation

Summary

The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom, published on 10 November 1876, was the result of a decade-long project to provide evidence for Darwin’s belief that ‘‘Nature thus tells us, in the most emphatic manner, that she abhors…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing (1862), and in several papers on plants with …

Race, Civilization, and Progress

Summary

Darwin's first reflections on human progress were prompted by his experiences in the slave-owning colony of Brazil, and by his encounters with the Yahgan peoples of Tierra del Fuego. Harsh conditions, privation, poor climate, bondage and servitude,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 3439 : Darwin to Kingsley, Charles, 6 February [1862] "It is very true what …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet …

Climbing plants

Summary

Darwin’s book Climbing plants was published in 1865, but its gestation began much earlier. The start of Darwin’s work on the topic lay in his need, owing to severe bouts of illness in himself and his family, for diversions away from his much harder book on…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … of animals and plants under domestication in 1868. In 1862 he had read a ‘Note on the coiling of …
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